Kaizer Chiefs learned who their Quarterfinal opponents in the 2020-21 CAF Champions League will be after Friday’s draw at CAF headquarters in Cairo Egypt. CAF Director of competitions Samson Adamu along with Cote d’Ivoire legend Abdoulaye Traore conducted the draw which saw some intriguing matchups emerge for the last eight. It emerged that Kaizer Chiefs’ next opponents in the competition will be Tanzanian outfit Simba SC.
Amakhosi have never faced Tanzanian opponents in the CAF Champions League although they did face Zinamoto FC who are from the autonomous Tanzanian region of Zanzibar in the 2018-19 CAF Confederations Cup Preliminary round, Amakhosi winning the tie 5-2 on aggregate.
This is the first time Chiefs had qualified for the group stages of the CAF Champions League, they managed to progress as Group C runners up behind Moroccan outfit Wydad Casablanca. Kaizer Chiefs marketing director Jessica Motaung is pleased by the club’s progression to the CAF Champions league this season adding, “this certainly is a very historic moment for the club. We recently celebrated our 51st birthday and we are very happy with the draw as all of the teams who are left are formidable clubs.
According to Motaung getting this far is just one part of Chiefs plan, “we are very ambitious from the word go and it has been our vision to get into the final and make history. This is an exciting time for us and we look forward to the challenge ahead”.
Simba are in the Quarterfinals of the Champions League for a third time. They participated in the 1994 and 2018-19 season where they lost to Nkana Red Devils and TP Mazembe respectively. Simba are 21-time Tanzanian top-flight champions and this will be just their second meeting against South African opposition in the CAF Champions League – their only previous clash was against Santos in 2003, a game they won 9-8 on penalties in the First Round after both legs ended goalless.
Simba came through at top of Group A where they finished ahead of Egyptian giants and defending champions Al Ahly, DR Congo side AS Vita and Sudanese team Al Merrikh. Chiefs will be at home for the first leg of the Quarter-final which is scheduled to take place on the 14th or 15th May. They will then travel to Dar es Salaam to play the second leg of their Quarterfinal clash on the 21st or 22nd May, with the winners of this tie coming up against the winners of Quarter-final two which is either Algerian club MC Alger or there could be a reunion for Chiefs with another potential clash against Wydad Casablanca in the Semi-final.
Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt learnt of the draw en-route to Bloemfontein and was quick to point out that Chiefs next opponents will provide a stern test for Amakhosi as he said, “any team you draw now is a tough draw. Simba had a good group stage, they beat Al Ahly. They are certainly a side we can’t take lightly. It will be a very tough game either way and we will just concentrate on our next game and we will take it from there.
Amakhosi will avoid their fellow South African’s Mamelodi Sundowns who will take on Al Ahly of Egypt in the last four. The sides could now only meet in the final scheduled to be played over one leg on the 17th July.
2020-21 Total CAF Champions League:
(1st leg 14, 15 May 2021 – 2nd leg 21, 22 May 2021)
QF 1 – Al Ahly (Egypt) v Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)
QF 2 – MC Alger (Algeria) v Wydad AC (Morocco)
QF 3 – CR Belouizdad (Algeria) v Esperance (Tunisia)
QF 4 – Kaizer Chiefs (South Africa) v Simba SC (Tanzania)
(1st leg 18, 19 June 2021 – 2nd leg 25, 26 June 2021)
SF 1 – Winner of QF 2 v Winner of QF 4
SF 2 – Winner of QF 3 v Winner of QF 1
(17 July 2021)
Winner SF 1 – Winner SF 2